Multifarious guitar player Stephen Inglis is no stranger to the music of the Grateful Dead. A life-long Deadhead through and through, Stephen took his native Hawaiian guitar playing roots and mingled it with the band that changed his life. In conversation with Grateful Web, Stephen opened up about his ambitious solo Slack Key Guitar-centered album Cut The Dead Some Slack.
GW: Can you talk about your musical beginnings? Who are your influences?
Something really remarkable happened at the Fare Thee Well shows in 2015. Instead of being a goodbye, it was a re-ignition, a passing of the torch in some ways. Although Jerry was always quick to point out that it was Dead Heads who created themselves, the phenomenon of Dead Head-ism was focused on the band for the first 30 years. And it was fairly fractured for the next twenty, with some liking some iterations, and others, not. And the musicians aren’t done, whether it’s Dead & Co. or Phil and Bobby’s recent duo, or the future outings of Billy and Mickey.
Folk-rooted Oregon rockers Fruition have never been ones to shy away from change. What started as an Americana, singer/songwriter project has evolved into a psychedelic grassroots extravaganza, twisting live elements of rock n’ roll and delta-blues into their already well-crafted core sound. The band’s fifth studio album, Watching It All Fall Apart, is an expression of that.
Some years back, Grateful Web’s Dylan Muhlberg spoke with celebrated Jazz Fusion drummer Billy Cobham in the midst of a long-running 40th-anniversary celebratory tour of his groundbreaking debut album Spectrum (1973). Put simply, Cobham alongside contemporaries such as the late Tony Williams, changed drumming in jazz from then on.
Mike Mizwinksi, popularly known as “Miz,” established himself as a guitar and songwriting talent in the mid-2000s paid his dues in the festival scene and elsewhere. His acoustic and electric guitar talents combined with strong vocals establish a devoted fan base, but Mike was destined for a more introspective musical evolution. His new album A Year Ago Today harkens some of the finest roots songwriters, obscurely enough to not step on the feet of his varied influences.
ZZ Ward is a dynamic blues aficionado, embarking on her first solo tour since 2015 this winter. With professional studio work under her belt, she is about to explode onto the stage. The title track off the album, The Storm, really highlights her incredible voice. With a smooth, soulful song she can keep it scratchy like the great female blues rockers of the past. While the music is reminiscent of Howling Wolf or Sonny Boy Williams, the lyrics are all sass and sweet.
An ever-changing visionary, Matisyahu has mastered the art of blending reggae, funk, hip-hop, and soul into a one-of-a-kind artistic experience. Currently touring in support of his 6th studio album Undercurrent, Matisyahu has brought his friend's Common Kings and Orphan along for the ride on the second leg of the Broken Crowns Tour.